The Zoological Society of London’s (ZSLs) Whipsnade Zoo has announced the birth of a greater one-horned rhino calf to help celebrate World Rhino Day which took place on September 22.
Fourth mother Behan went through what was a pretty routine birth without any hassle, Veronica Watkins explained, “The labour was relatively straightforward. Behan was restless the previous night so we suspected the birth was imminent, but once her waters broke we were able to monitor her carefully through CCTV cameras, without interfering in the process.”
“The following day Bali was up and about, looking around at everything inquisitively. Behan, who has always been an excellent mother to her calves, was staying very close to him,” added Watkins.
Keepers have chosen the name Bali for the calf not after the island but for the Nepalese word for ‘strong.’ Nepal and India is the native home of these vulnerable rhinos. When he was born on Sunday September 6 he weighed in at 76kg (12 stone).
He is the 14th calf born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo who were one of the first zoo’s to breed the species worldwide during 1957.
ZSL participates in a worldwide breeding program for the species which so far has only seen four births this year, three in Europe and another in the United States of America.
Watkins added, “The whole team are very excited to see the safe arrival of our newest rhino. To be involved in bringing one of these endangered animals into the world makes all of our efforts feel worthwhile, and it makes celebrating World Rhino Day this year feel extra special.”
Currently it is believed that only 3,000 greater one horned rhino’s remain in the wild. ZSL support work in Chitwan National Park. Here they sponsor an anti-poaching task force to protect the rhinos. It has seen huge success with numbers rising by 444 from the late 1960’s till 2000.
Photo Credit: ZSL London Zoo